Like his regime, the statue of Saddam Hussein proved hollow. His empty head dragged through the streets by jubilant masses.
Half a world away, at the Lubbock Armed Forces Reserve Center, "It makes me feel very ecstatic inside but also cautious," said Marine Corps Captain Kraig Smith. He outlined the military's perspective after the fall of Baghdad. "They're taking a cautious approach to what's going on and just making sure that no more military, U.S. military lives, are lost in the process or as minimal as possible," he said.
At the home of the fighting pirates, Cooper 8th graders Ciro Chairez, Brittany Barnett, and Tanner Langston, watched a replay of the falling statue. "It just symbolizes the rise and fall of his regime," said Ciro. "If his own people were against him, what makes him think he's the leader of the country?," asked Brittany. "There's a possibility he's dead and a possibility he's still alive," said Tanner.
A few generations away, at the American Legion. "I consider Saddam a tumor," said Vietnam veteran Jerry Dickson. "I got up and danced like they did, glad to see the symbol go," said Korean veteran Denver Blanscett.
Just one statue fell, but a multitude of meanings came from it's thud. To America's youth - "It'll send a message to terrorists; 'You hit us, we'll hit you harder,'" said Ciro. To America's strength - "There's gonna' be a lot of heroes out of this conflict," said Captain Smith. To America's heritage - "There's no doubt now who's won this war," said Denver.